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Apple sued by Japanese firm over ‘Animoji’ feature in iPhone X

Tokyo-based firm Emonster owns an iOS app called “Animoji” that lets people send emoji that are animated in a loop like GIFs.

tech Updated: Oct 23, 2017 13:09 IST
Indo Asian News Service
Indo Asian News Service
Indo Asian News Service
Apple iPhone X,Apple,Animoji
Apple Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing, Phil Schiller, shows Animoji during a launch event in Cupertino, California, U.S. September 12, 2017.(REUTERS)

A Tokyo-based company Emonster has sued Apple for using ‘Animoji’ feature in the iPhone X. The Japanese firm claims that it owns the trademark for the name in the US.

Emonster owns an iOS app called “Animoji” that lets people send emoji that are animated in a loop like GIFs.

The iPhone X’s “Animoji” feature lets people transform their face into customised moving emoji with the help from Apple’s face recognition technology “FaceID”.

In the lawsuit filed in a US federal court, Emonster said: “Apple made the conscious decision to try to pilfer the name for itself.”

“The lawsuit alleges that because both the Animoji app and the iPhone X feature are on Apple’s platforms, and because they both involve moving animation, the court should rule one out,” The Verge reported late Friday.

According to the lawsuit, Apple was aware of Emonster’s trademark because the app is available in the Apple Store. The Emonster app costs $0.99 on Apple iTunes.

“This is a textbook case of willful, deliberate trademark infringement. With full awareness of plaintiffs’ Animoji mark, Apple decided to take the name and pretend to the world that ‘Animoji’ was original to Apple,” the lawsuit read.

Apple is yet to comment.

The TrueDepth camera in iPhone X brings emoji to life in a fun new way with “Animoji”. Working with A11 Bionic, the TrueDepth camera captures and analyses over 50 different facial muscle movements, then animates those expressions in a dozen different “Animoji”, including a panda, unicorn and robot.

Available as an iMessage app pre-installed on iPhone X, customers can record and send “Animoji” messages with their voice that can smile, frown and more.

First Published: Oct 23, 2017 13:00 IST